Miami football: Mark Richt still looking for more from Hurricanes offense

Miami beat Syracuse Saturday to keep its record a perfect 6-0. However, Hurricanes coach Mark Richt said that his team’s play in the 27-19 win over Syracuse was far from perfect.

According to Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald, Richt spoke on Miami radio station WQAM Monday morning and said that he was frustrated with his team’s offense at times on Saturday. In particular, Richt was critical of the Hurricanes’ red zone offense.

On the season, Miami has scored on 23 of its 24 trips inside opponents’ 20-yard line. That percentage ranks sixth-best in the country. However, the Hurricanes have scored touchdowns on just 13 of those 24 trips. Their touchdown percentages of 54.17 percent ranks 98th nationally.

Richt pointed to one such example when the Hurricanes had to settle for a field goal against Syracuse. Miami had a first-and-goal from the Syracuse 3-yard line but was stopped on two straight running plays. On third down, quarterback Malik Rosier threw a quick pass to receiver Ahmon Richards, but the pass sailed a bit high and, though it hit Richards’ hands, bounced incomplete.

Richt said Miami had the coverage it was looking for on the play, it just failed to execute a fairly routine throw and catch.

“I want that ball more in his belly button down there in the goal-line area,’’ Richt said. “It looks likes a touchdown for a moment and then, boom, it’s not.”

Richt pointed to that play as one of several instances when Miami couldn’t convert what should have been completions. Part of that blame certainly lies with the Miami receivers, who combined to drop five passes, but Richt also said Rosier needed to be slightly more accurate to give his receivers easier catches.

“There’s a bulls eye that you’re trying to hit,” Richt said. “Even a slant – even if the ball hits a guy in the face it’s still a little bit too high for me. I want it in his body. I want him to catch it where he can secure it.”

Richt said Rosier played “close to great,” and even said Rosier, who threw for a career-high 344 yards in the win, “might have had 450 yards and 5 touchdowns” if all of the catchable passes he had thrown had been reeled in.

But “close to great” isn’t good enough for Richt. As the Hurricanes prepare to face No. 13 Virginia Tech and No. 9 Notre Dame in back-to-back weeks on Nov. 4 and 11, Richt wants his offense “aiming for perfection.”

“Were the balls catchable? Absolutely. But were they exactly where we want them? Not quite,” Richt said. “So, we’re aiming for perfection when we catch the ball.”

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